The Heigh Five..Five Questions for Celebrity Chef @FabioViviani #SienaTavern by #SobeSavvy


Season Five Top Chef fan favorite Fabio Viviani recently opened a South Beach outpost of his established Siena Tavern of Chicago in the former China Grill space on Washington Ave and 5th Street. I sat down with Fabio with Five Questions:

1. What is your opinion when people refer to you as a ” Celebrity Chef” ?

That is fine. Exposure leads people to call you a celebrity chef. First and foremost though is that I work 130Hrs a week. Last night one of the plumbing sinks went out and I was underneath there soaked in nasty water trying to help fix it. THAT does not sound like a celebrity chef. If it helps bring people in my restaurants then great, but I am just a hardworking guy.

2. What Inspired you to start the website ?

It’s still in a Beta setting right now. Childhood obesity is from kids eating processed artificial food. They have never been taught how to eat and cook right. Margarine is a good example. It is very close to being plastic. Empty calories. Soda and junk food. The body is not meant to try to process a bunch of hydrogenated oils and other man made chemicals. Growing up in my house we were not allowed to eat bread or pasta that we did not make ourselves. People need to spend the time each day to cook for themselves. People who say they do not have the time to do that need to realize that you will end up short changing your lifespan. Take the time now and you will have much more at the end.

3. Tell me about Fabio Viviani Wines. Have you always wanted to be in the wine business?

I do not make wine but I have been in the business of drinking wine all my life. In Italy, kids are given small amounts of wine with dinner. It’s the culture, so when they turn 21 they have no need to go binge drink in Vegas. I am a wine merchant not maker. I discover great wines. I blend them and bottle them under my name. It is sold at a fair price point. A good wine doesnot have to be very expensive. My wines have beat many high prices wines in tastings. It is accessible for everyone. I want people to enjoy a good wine at a good price.

4. Any new ventures in the near future ?

My partners and I are about to open a steakhouse in Chicago. Although there are a lot of good steakhouses in Chicago we are confident we can hold our own and excel. We are also going to open a Siena Bar. Not a formal restaurant but a fun stylish place for people to go to start their evening. A nice bar lounge where you can still get some good food.

5. What passions do you have besides food and cooking ?

I really am passionate about gardening and long distance target shooting. I love peace of gardening. I love long distance shooting with a sports rifle. I think it is cool to lay on the ground and shoot at a can of coke at 500 yards. You must stay focused, so I love it. I like fishing and boxing. Unfortunately I travel 300 days a year so I don’t get to indulge those passions much. Oh, I am very passionate about my wife. Make sure you print that !

#SobeSavvy Presents #ThePowerofHappyHour Vol 8 Let’s Cicchetti @SienaMiami #FromScratch #SienaTavern DAILY #HappyHour #SouthBeach


Seeking: a grown up happy hour happily devoid of frat boys and full of quality food and hand crafted cocktails. The Answer: Siena Tavern’s new happy hour.

This new powerhouse of a new restaurant has already proven itself to be the spot for those who want a top notch italian dinner with inventive and classic dishes by executive chef Fabio Viviani. Hubby and I visited last week to see what all the fuss was about. The cocktails are curated by the crew at the renowned Broken Shaker Bar. Moscow Mule, house sangria and take on a Limoncello called…Cocello was delicious. What are you washing down with these cocktails ? How about a new East Coast vs West Coast feud ? OF OYSTERS ! Siena Tavern has a plethora of bi coastal oyster choices..they vary depending on the time of year but be assured they are as fresh as oysters can be. Time to get your food and drink on.

Available daily ( Saturday and Sunday included) between 6 to 8 p.m. Appetizers like Hamachi and Tuna Crudo for $7. Frito Misto,Salami or cheese boards are also listed. We had the Prosciutto Pear pizza for $9. Our waiter went into detail to explain how they had to revamp their dough recipe from what they use in their Chicago restaurant. Miami humidity is no friend of dough. Having managed a famous pizzeria in Baltimore, Md , I judge pizza by it’s dough. Siena Tavern gets an A+. Combine that with the $2 oysters, $7 house cocktails, glass of wine of the day and drafts for $4 and you have a really happy happy hour.

We finished our happy hour with a flight of gelato and of course their infamous Bombolini donut like pastry.

Happy hour can be enjoyed at or around the bar and also on their beautiful terrace.








Happiness is Daily Happy Hour.

#SobeSavvy Dines @Sienamiami @DineAmicGroup @Fabioviviani @SienaMeatball #FromScratch #SienaMiami


Siena is a small city of 50K people in the Tuscany region of Italy. It’s here that 3 friends {and business partners} stumbled upon a small bar/bistro. It had an open kitchen and oven where they served made from scratch Italian cuisine and seafood. This is how Siena Tavern was born.

I usually avoid “celebrity chef” restaurants because I have found them heavy on the “celebrity” part and usually lacking in the “chef” department. Siena Tavern avoids this trap. I found them to be an excellent restaurant and the executive chef/owner Fabio Viviani just happens to be a very well known “celebrity”. He was a Top Chef Season 5 Fan Favorite. He has brought his inventive style on classic dishes to Miami. Speaking with him about his new location here in Miami was informative. He and his partners were looking for a perfect space in Miami and decided on this former China Grill location. Siena Tavern is already a mainstay at it’s original location in Chicago. They should achieve that status here in Miami shortly. They designed the former cavernous China Grill location to be somewhat intimate, upscale yet still relatable. They have event rooms with partitions and also part of the main dining room can be curtained off for special events. Their Crudo bar area is amazing. You can sit near the wood burning pizza oven and enjoy a drink or a entire meal. They also have a full service wrap around bar area with one way glass that are also flat screen TV’s. The main dining room is a class act in design. One particular mural is breathtaking. Another wall has a unique feature. Drawers. Cabinet drawers. Lucas Stoioff, one of their owners explained that the inspiration for their “drawer wall” was from his childhood when he was tasked with throwing away such a cabinet and things didn’t go according to plan. What a great conversation piece that wall is. Here in South Beach style trumps substance about 99% of the time. Not here. The only thing better than the design and the décor was the food.

They have an extensive cocktail and wine list. We choose two cocktails. You order them by the number on the list. We had the #3 and the #10. Both were exquisite. We started with the Wagyu Beef Meatball. This is the meatball to end all meatballs. Moist and flavorful. It is stuffed with Bellweather Ricotta cheese. It’s a mini meal in itself. We were going to ask for a straw for the sauce but decided against it. Next up was a Crudo Bar sampler of 4 items. Oysters, Fluke, Hamachi and diver scallop. It was a fresh seafood bonanza. They have some rotating choices listed on the wall by the Crudo Bar. We also had two of their large succulent stone crabs. Our 3 year old had a small portion of their spaghetti in pomodoro sauce. She loved it ! We split a main entrée of their Short Rib Ravioli. The ravioli is all homemade and cut in-house. The short Rib and sauce combo was a incredible flavor impolsion. Loved it. What I also loved was a ounce of their white truffles hand shaved tableside. I inquired to the chef why truffles usually carry a hefty price tag. He explained it was due to a few factors. The scarcity and western European location. How they are harvested {with dogs and pigs that sometimes can cost 10K or more for a trained animal} also is a big reason for this culinary luxury item. The truffles just added a amazing profile to the ravioli that cannot be explained and can only be experienced. Splurge and try some truffles on your visit.

We ended our meal with a dessert called ‘bambolini’ A plate of sugar coated hot doughnut pieces. Something found at a state fair. Like a hybrid of fried dough. These came with various sauces of raspberry and chocolate that can be dipped or injected into the doughy goodness. They were simple and decadent. A great finish to a great experience. Seeking a great experience ? Look no more. Siena Tavern is here.

Check out our IG Video Short below: